The restorative nursing aide or assistant is an expanded role for the certified nursing assistant (CNA). A restorative aide assists with therapeutic exercises and occupational therapy, and focuses less on direct nursing care than other CNAs. CNAs typically must have at least six months to a year of nursing experience and complete 35 to 60 hours of additional training before becoming a restorative aide.
A CNA helps patients with bathing, dressing, grooming, and other daily living activities. The aide checks patient vital signs including blood pressure and respiration rate, and assesses any changes in behavior or condition to report to a supervising nurse. The CNA repositions bedridden patients to prevent bedsores, and gives enemas and changes bedpans. The aide helps patients walk to examination or treatment rooms or takes them with a wheelchair. Some restorative aide job descriptions require providing direct nursing care, as well as restorative duties, or to fill in when necessary.
Restorative aides often work with patients who are in physical therapy or who have completed a program, but are still not ready to leave the health care facility. These aides assist patients with active and passive range-of-motion exercises, and help them improve or maintain a certain level of mobility and other physical ability. The aides may work with patients who have experienced a serious fracture or other injuries, who have experienced a stroke, or who need restorative care to recover from major surgery.
A restorative aide documents the participation of patients in scheduled therapy activities, their progress, and any difficulties. The restorative aide also may be involved in planning and coordinating activities to help patients improve. Restorative aides attend meetings to evaluate patient progress, and work with therapists and other nurses to consider further exercises and other therapeutic activities specific to each patient.
The duties of a restorative aide include assessing the condition of adaptive equipment such as walkers, gait trainers, and crutches, and may include keeping this equipment clean. The aide arranges for repair or replacement of equipment when necessary.
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